Tuesday, December 22, 2009

review: Holiday Shores---Columbus'd The Whim

Holiday Shores
Columbus'd The Whim
Two Syllable Records, 2009

Holiday Shores: "Phones Don't Feud"

Wanted to review the Holiday Shores album for a few reasons. #1 CMJ buzz. #2 The album's name is "Columbus'd The Whim." Nice verb action. #3 Tallahassee. #4 It's the holidays.

Columbus'd has some nautical feelings going on, as well as the word "Shores" so get ready for some laid-back sailor tales. But instead of hard-charging, hard-cussing metal, there's a lot of pseudo-Carribean playfulness punctuated with an Animal Collective high-pitched experimentation, which in the clash of buzz bands means: Vampire Weekend meets Animal Collective. For reals. Sickening, I know.
The only prob with that is that Holiday Shores doesn't have either band's proclivity for melody or memorable experimentation, which means very few things stick. Maybe this is "lo-fi" too, and I'm a little conflicted about not only what that means, but what that sounds like in this digital age.

All that came out bad. Real bad.

Holiday Shores - Errand of Tongue from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

But then "Dens" makes me like this band, with its quiet distorted, hollowed creeping, and I like the "steel-ness" on "Phones Don't Feud." I like the round of "oh-oh-ohs" on"Errand of Tongue," which is like a lava lamp haphazardly place on a keyboard. "Bradley Bear" is that minimalist beach song that the hippies play for the tourists in Ft. Lauderdale and "I'll Spend Money I Don't Have" is experimental audio at its honest best, again the echo chamber, again the wandering keys. Founder and key member Nathan Pemberton is like any promising musician--thinking, wondering, wishing, creating.

Another winner--"Edge of Our Lives." This is a key track, it has some funky breakdowns in it, adheres to a tighter structure, maximizes its keyboard parts, has the requisite hip fuzziness, encapsulates all of Holiday Shores' unique sounds, but packages it in concisely. I like this song a lot. "Experiencer" is another like that, as the chorus intones "I don't know things I don't know..." and on and on and on, with Pemberton's warble and newly fashioned surf rock, it holds together well, is "experimental" without too many key changes and ups and downs to be typically deemed as "experimental." This isn't of course Animal Collective or Vampire Weekend, but Holiday Shores--an entity in their own right.

All that came out well. Real well.

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